You intend for your business to run seamlessly, and for the most part, it does. However, whenever two or more people interact in the workplace, chances are there will be disputes. Knowing this, you can and should put protocols in place to address misunderstandings and outright disputes.
You can terminate at-will workers without giving them a reason. Still, if these workers claim discrimination, harassment, minimum wage violations or any wrongful termination, you need a North Carolina employment disputes lawyer to intercede on your behalf. At Sparks Law, our skilled attorneys are here to represent you in litigation and before federal and state regulatory boards.
Trouble often arises when workers believe they are not paid what they are owed, including overtime. The federal minimum wage, according to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), is $7.25 per hour. North Carolina’s minimum wage is the same, with some exceptions for tipped and student employees. Hourly employees in North Carolina working more than forty hours a week are entitled to 1.5 times minimum wage per hour.
Employers who fail to pay overtime wages may be subject to regulatory scrutiny by the North Carolina Department of Labor if an employee files a complaint. A local attorney can review employment records to help determine if overtime is owed to a disgruntled employee filing a complaint.
Employers can terminate at-will employees in North Carolina for no reason at all. However, employees who believe they have experienced harassment or discrimination in the workplace have options for recourse. If employees believe they are being discriminated against under Title VII, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or the North Carolina civil rights laws, they can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC has identified race, religion, skin color, age, gender, disabilities, and genetic profiling as protected classes.
North Carolina has extended protected classes to anyone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, sickle cell or hemoglobin C trait, and those who serve in the military. A knowledgeable employment disputes lawyer in the area could help explain these laws and set workplace rules that discourage a toxic environment.
Most employers and employees are aware of overt forms of sexual harassment, such as outright propositions by a supervisor to an employee, assault, or demands for sexual favors to keep one’s job. However, harassment can also be subtle. The following can amount to sexual harassment if they occur repeatedly and would make any reasonable employee uncomfortable:
An employment disputes attorney at our North Carolina office can help set protocols to avoid harassment claims in the workplace.
Key employees are often asked to sign non-compete, non-solicitation, confidentiality, and non-disclosure agreements. If an employer elects to terminate a contracted employee under the terms of the agreement, the employee might challenge the restrictive covenants in court. Our skilled employment dispute lawyers could draft employment agreements restricted to certain geographic areas and for a limited time to ensure that they stand up in court.
Disputes can arise wherever people gather, and the workplace is no exception. There are some things you can do as an employer to keep disputes to a minimum, such as putting rules in place for harassment and discrimination claims and making sure employees are properly paid.
A North Carolina employment disputes lawyer is well-versed in the problems you may encounter with employees. Let the team at Sparks Law help you enact protocol and draft documents to defuse problems with disgruntled employees. Call today for your initial consultation.